New Texas Gun Laws You May Not Have Heard About
There is no question that the Texas legislature takes gun rights very seriously. This was illustrated by the number of new laws that passed in 2019 and recently went into effect. The following is an overview of new gun laws in Texas that you might not know about yet.
Mistake as a Defense
It used to be that claiming you did not know the law or see a posted sign prohibiting guns in a specific place was not a defense to gun crime charges. Now, however, you can claim mistake as a defense as long as you left the location right away after learning you should not have a handgun there.
Rented Housing and Condo Complexes
A new law prohibits landlords or condo associations from disallowing firearms and ammo in your home, as well as taking the firearm from your home to your car. As long as your firearm is lawfully possessed by you, it is lawful to have it in your home or take to and from your home.
Foster parents are now allowed to possess lawful firearms and ammo in a home with foster children. There are some restrictions to this law, however, so it is best to check before you have a gun as a foster parent.
In the past, if a business failed to prohibit firearms on the premises, the company might be sued if someone is injured by a firearm on the property. New laws prohibit this type of lawsuit, so companies will no longer face liability for allowing firearms.
State Law Preemption
Texas also passed a law that state law preempts any laws passed by municipalities and localities. Any local law regarding firearms or other weapons that attempts to alter state regulations or that is more restrictive than state law will not be valid.
Places of Worship
Churches and other places of worship used to be treated differently than other private properties for the purposes of firearm restrictions. However, now, places of worship are treated the same as any other type of property.
School Parking Lots
Under the new set of laws, schools are no longer allowed to have stricter rules and regulations that prevent licensed handgun owners from keeping a gun in their locked car. Now, as long as the gun and ammo are out of sight and the vehicle is locked, people can have a firearm in a school parking lot.
Firearms During Evacuations
If you had a mandatory evacuation and no carry license, you previously had to take the time to leave your firearm behind. Now, you can keep your handgun with you for up to 168 hours following a disaster while you evacuate and reenter the building.
Contact a Fort Worth Gun Crime Defense Attorney Today
At the law firm of Kyle Whitaker, we represent defendants facing gun crime allegations. Call 817-332-7703 or contact us online to speak with an experienced Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer about your case.